Today the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced Georgia would receive $8.4 million for 2012 — money the state has been waiting months for to help eliminate the AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list.

There are currently 429 people in the state on the ADAP waiting list. It is not known if the federal dollars will completely eliminate the list, said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality.

The $8.4 million to Georgia is part of an overall $35 million in new funding that President Barack Obama announced on World AIDS Day and an additional $40 million in ongoing relief funding.

Georgia receives $8.4 million in emergency ADAP funding


A press release from the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, which applauded today’s announcement from HHS, states the funding was awarded to 25 states and “is designed to address ADAP waiting lists and other cost-containment measures and to expand currently available services.”

“The funding awarded today should greatly reduce the number of individuals on ADAP waiting lists as well as assist ADAPs in continuing to enroll new clients into their programs,” said Julie Scofield, executive director of NASTAD, in a prepared statement.

“ADAPs continue to focus on establishing program efficiencies to create long-term program sustainability and we look forward to the continued support from the Congress and Administration in addressing the medication needs of people living with HIV/AIDS.”

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the funding of grants will ensure low-income people living with HIV/AIDS will have access to life-saving medications.

“The entire Administration is dedicated to fulfilling President Obama’s goal of an AIDS free generation and today’s announcement is one more step in that ongoing effort,” Sebelius said in a statement. “These grants will help make a real difference in the lives of Americans living with HIV/AIDS, especially those in underserved communities.”